Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/245

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A Study in Temptations.

pride of life, and the vain pursuit of vainer knowledge. The wise using their wisdom to confound the weak, working, not to the glory of God, but for the amazement of the sinner; each man a law unto himself, and all in conflict with the powers that be. Let me hear no more blether about Oxford!"

Having finished his harangue, which he had delivered with such fluency that Miss Caroline suspected it had long been prepared for some such crisis, he left the room. De Boys, a little pale but not less determined in expression, went about his usual afternoon employment, which, since it had all to do with the farm, made it seem as though "Up-at-Battle's" were, after all, the one reality in life, and his dream of a University career, a dream indeed, nay more, the very town of Oxford a figment of his imagination. At tea-time he did not feel hungry; he walked instead to his favourite peak on the cliff, and sat there, gazing gloomily at the dancing sea. He was roused by a tap on his shoulder: he turned and saw Jane.